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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I got a little PO’d today

The storm blasted through yesterday, but the high winds continued through today.  Along with the very stiff north wind, the temperature dropped like a rock and it was barely 40* when I got up this morning.  I’m sure the wind chill was around freezing as there was frost on the windshield.  The hoped for bird fallout didn’t happen here, but some birds straggled in.  Tonight’s pics are some of those birds (all black-throated green warblers).

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The next batch of fifth graders from the Barber Hill School were slated to arrive this morning around 9:00.  We volunteers were all bundled up and ready for them.  We had to change the location of some of the stations due to the cold high winds, and the handiwork of a bunch of feral hogs overnight.

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When they arrived, the teachers lined them up in six groups of 14 or 15 for each of us to lead to our stations.  I was a little surprised that no teacher came along with my group, but wrongly assumed that maybe there weren’t enough of them to go with each group.

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As each of us finished with each group and the next one arrived, it became evident that the teachers had disappeared.  Seems they were a little cold and all huddled together out of the wind kibitzing together.  Baring teeth smile  As a former principal, that made my hair stand on end a bit.  They had a total disregard and lack of respect for their students and us volunteers. 

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I’m pretty confident in handling a group of raucous 11 year olds that I don’t know from Adam, but really, those teachers should have been there to help with discipline so we could focus on what we were trying to teach the kids.  As volunteers, discipline shouldn’t be our job.  The teachers are the ones getting paid and they’re the ones that are responsible for the welfare of their students.

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Fellow volunteer Cindy picked up on my intent when I shouted to her, “Are there any teachers to give us a hand?”  Her loud answer, “They seem to be having a meeting.”  The teachers heard us, and turned their backs.  By this time, I was livid! 

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Lots of kids were cold, many needed to use the rest room, and one girl ran off from her group.  Where were the teachers to help with these issues?  Nowhere to be seen!  We can’t leave our group to take kids to the restroom, nor can we leave to find a recalcitrant student.  Not a safe situation.  What were these teachers thinking?  I guess they weren’t.

Once they all left, all of us fairly pounced upon Stephanie and let her know of our anger over what had transpired.  To her credit, she called the principal of the school and let her know the situation.  We have two more days of fifth grade students from this school tomorrow and Thursday.  I expect that things will change tomorrow, but if they don’t Thursday may not be an option for that school.  I, for one, will not work under those circumstances.  If I was the principal of that school, I would have ripped each of those teachers a new one upon their return!

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                                                                THE END OF MY TIRADE!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

34 comments:

  1. Fabulous pictures as always. So close up. Thanks! I've never seen a black throated green in person. I could feel the steam coming out through your fingers and don't blame you. I would probably gone up to them and told them to get their asses over here and do their jobs or this would be the last time they ever came here. I know it's not my place but I'm not sure I would care. That is outrageous behavior. Teachers sure aren't what they used to be in terms of taking responsibility.

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    1. Let's not go overboard and blame all Teachers o.k. I've always found that most are responsible and caring just like our Teachers from decades ago. To prove that Teachers today are just as caring and responsible as ever just look at the heroic behavior ot teachers at Sandy Hook during the gun rampage - or, any of the other horrible incidents. This appears to be one very badly managed school.

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  2. Not acceptable. And I would have piped up as well. "We need you over here now, or everyone is going back to the bus". And that would be that.
    The nerve.

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  3. You were so much nicer than I would have been. I agree with Sherry. But I'm sure glad Stephanie called the principal and hopefully he/she followed through with those teachers. Unbelievable.

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  4. Don't blame you ... that is outrageous. good lord! unbelievable behavior

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  5. I understand your frustration. One of our daughters is a 2nd grade teacher. I doubt that she would leave her students under these circumstances.

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  6. Good for you! Not a safe situation, and I wonder what the parents of those kids would have said about it. Maybe those teachers should have been there not only to keep an eye on the kids, but to learn something from the Volunteers. Assuming this was a teaching situation, how are they going to talk about all they learned when they get back to class if they weren't there learning right along with the students? Shirkers for sure! :(

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  7. I stopped my presentation once... told those 8th grade boys (the teacher was in the back of the room kibitzing with other teachers) that I wouldn't tolerate their behavior... either they leave the room or show some respect to their fellow students. The room got totally quiet... nobody expected a lowly volunteer to speak up. I know I didn't earn any points with the teachers as they didn't seem to appreciate my being candid. Judy, You Go Girl!

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  8. Oh my, glad to see the American educational system is up and working well... one negligent group gives all a bad name...

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  9. I agree completely!! When volunteering at LBJ State Park's Sauer Beckman Farm we often had groups of school children come in. As the volunteer interpreter I pretty much had my hands full getting the information to the 20-30 kids without having them grab and destroy some wonderful old farm item. I absolutely relied on their teachers (and often parents) to take care of disciplinary, potty, and other misc. issues. One volunteer can't do it all.
    So good for you all for talking with Stephanie and letting her know that what had happened was unacceptable. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!!

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  10. I admire your restraint. Several of my nieces and nephews are educators and I'd be very disappointed if they behaved in such an unprofessional way. Good for Stephanie!

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  11. The new work ethic, not like the teachers we grew up with.

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  12. I'm so glad Stephanie called the principal. How unfortunate for you volunteers and the students. Barbara's absolutely right--how can the teachers possibly reinforce what the children learned?

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  13. wonderful pics today. . .here's hoping the next group gets the message. . .

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  14. Love the little bird.

    Those teachers should have a new one ripped. How inconsiderate and very irresponsible. I'm surprised they didn't wait on the bus.

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  15. Yep. I agree with what everyone else said. This puts the kids in jeopardy, too, and the school is liable if something should happen to one of those students. Stupid!

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  16. Stephanie should have you volunteers make up a test of a few questions from each group and have the principal make the teachers take it as well as students ...they would see who was where and learning! You have more Patience than I ...

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  17. Not good to spend the day like that ...... What a pain in the neck to think the teachers turned their backs after you requested some assistance .... So glad for the follow up with the principal...hope the next visit improves the conduct of the teachers..... Let's hope you were able to munch on some of that candy you enjoy tonight !!!

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  18. Give 'em hell, Harry!

    Ohhh, those black-throated green warblers are very pretty! (but I don't see any green...?)

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  19. Good for Stephanie. The principal definitely should have been called. Those teachers were responsibility for the safety of the kids, and they didn't know the volunteers from the ax murderer next door. That is outrageous behavior and I wonder what the parents would think. I know I would have been extremely upset if my child was neglected like that. I hope this gets out to the parents of the children in that school. I don't think those teachers should have been trusted to take the kids on a field trip.

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  20. Thanks for the pics. We saw one of these a couple of weeks ago and I have been trying to figure out what it was. I checked on E-bird and there were sightings near us about the same time. I think you have solved the mystery!

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  21. Totally agree with comments above; teachers were very irresponsible and disrespectful both to the volunteers and even to their own students. What a bad example they all set.

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  22. As a retired high school teacher, I, too, am appalled that the teachers' lack of respect. I am so glad that Stephanie called the principal. We were always expected to be with our students every place they went. Matters of fact, I really enjoyed all the field trips I went with the students. It felt like a day away from school....hehe

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  23. Those teachers do not represent the caring, responsible attitude that most bring to the job. Today's professional teachers are every bit as responsible as many believe our teachers were in "the good old days" but like every other profession there are bad apples. Unfortunately, you happen to have stumbled across one group. I'm glad the Principal of the school was made aware of this and of the consequences should this type of behavior continue. Rant warranted!!

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  24. He** hath no fury like a volunteer scorned! Remind me never to get on your bad side!

    Good call to the principal, hope he really laid into those teachers.

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  25. Love the Black Throated Green Warbler. Contrary to what Rick had to say about the quality of teachers, there are so many who do have the notion that once on a field trip, they could chill and leave the kids to the volunteers (as in your case). The teachers should have had their pay docked for taking time off plus received a disciplinary warning in their records. You have every right to rant!

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  26. I hope that the next groups have attentive teachers and maybe even some adult helpers! Kids need supervision...good for you calling the Principal! :)

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  27. Reading your post got me to thinking about field trips I took as a child. I was taught by nuns and they had their eyes on us every second of the time. From what I've heard from friends my age, almost all teachers took their jobs seriously and would have loved getting into an outdoor classroom. I can't believe the reaction when they were called out. I hope the next group you get into the refuge are more interested and caring.

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  28. I LOVE the fact that you said "I would have ripped each of those teachers a new one upon their return!"...You had to have been one Hell of a great principal and any school today could use one just like you...(I say this ..my oldest daughter is a sub..and has seen some pretty lame principals!)
    YOU GO, PRINCIPAL BELL!!

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  29. I had a "day from hell" similar to yours with a group of over 100 middle school students and no chaperones!. The rest of the volunteers did what they could to help, but it was awful. When the superintendent blamed us (me) for the situation, the chief ranger backed up the volunteers and said if it happened again, she would be the one leaving. All this happened several years ago at Casa Grande Ruins NM in Arizona.

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  30. Sounds like you needed to tell the teachers that they were to stay with their classes up front. Had I been there, I would have been happy to go retrieve them for you. THEN if they didn't comply, you could have ripped them a new one.

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  31. Great photos as usual, like them warblers

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  32. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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